Friday, January 31, 2014

Crazy like a hawk

I'm convinced this juvenile red-tailed hawk is completely deranged.  Recently, it's been acting odd - flying around wildly, diving, jumping, frolicking in the grass, dive-bombing squirrels, and just being generally over-energized without actually accomplishing anything.

Red tail in Tompkins Square

This is not the same bird who bashed into the bus stop.  When that happened, I was worried the bird suffered head trauma, but this is a different bird.  There's always the worry that the hawks might ingest poison or suffer illness or injury...or I might be completely over-thinking things and maybe this hawk is naturally crazed.  I hope that's the case.

Here's Crazy Bird attacking some plants.

Red tail in Tompkins Square

It kept plowing into these fir trees, scattering the sparrows and then awkwardly climbing around inside the tree.  It did this about ten times.

Red tail in Tompkins Square

Here is Crazy going after a squirrel.  The squirrel safely hid inside the box until the bird left.

Red tail in Tompkins Square

Another confrontation...

Red tail in Tompkins Square

Diving through a bench to (fail to) get at that fat rat...

Diving after a rat Tompkins Square

Playing run-around-the-garbage-can with a rat.  I think this rat was sick as it didn't care about the hawk at all.  And, although presented with numerous opportunities, the hawk never killed a rat.

Red tail chasing after a rat in Tompkins Square

After almost three hours of chasing anything that moved, and sometimes things that didn't move, Crazy caught a mouse.  This made me feel better as I worry the bird isn't getting enough to eat.  It did a clumsy job catching the mouse and couldn't kill it right away.  Eventually, it cut the mouse in half, ate it in two bites, then resumed its frantic behavior.

Red tail with mouse in Tompkins Square

I hope you're ok, Crazy Bird!

Red tail in Tompkins Square

See more hawk photos here.

Previous hawk posts.

8 comments:

  1. You need to stuff a mouse with Adderall and then feed that to the Crazy Bird! Great photos of him!

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  2. Damn, Laura, these are spectacular.I am so jealous.

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  3. Can we turn it lose at the Peter Stuyvesant PO branch?

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  4. Your photos are great. There has been a dearth since Bob died.

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  5. Crazy Bird is just showing off.. Look at me! Look at how fit I am! watch me fly!

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  6. onemorefoldedsunsetFebruary 4, 2014 at 8:14 PM

    Pre-Spring hormones? Guess it's too young for a partner, but this is getting to be mating season isn't it? Fantastic photographs, as ever.

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  7. Thanks, everyone!


    I honestly don't know what is going on with this hawk - it could be youth, hormones, neuro problems, ecstasy or just an unusually vibrant personality. I've spent a lot of time with the birds and none of the others acted like this. Crazy Bird kept up his/her antics for several hours, hardly ever sitting still, and not catching anything to eat.


    Maybe the spirit of LES Jewels lives on... ;)

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  8. Enthusiastic hunting practice? Developing hunting skills are essential for survival no? Just imagine "Eye of the tiger" playing in the background...

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